Supercars teams got a brutal reminder of the level of perfection required to conquer the Mount Panorama circuit late on Wednesday afternoon with a brutal wreck all but destroying one car.
Racing action has returned to Bathurst after several postponements due to the lockdowns in Sydney and NSW earlier this year, but it was a skeleton-shaking return for Super2 Series driver Declan Frasers.
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The Supercars hopeful had a horror trip across the top of the mountain when the wheelnut on his left rear wheel came loose as he rounded the Reid Park corner.
Replays showed the car getting a little out of shape as the rear wheel came loose, sending the car spearing backwards into the wall at high speed.
The rear of the Nissan Altima was practically demolished in the impact, though thankfully Fraser was able to emerge from the car unscathed.
Commentators described the heavy impact as 'almost like a crash test'.
“It absorbed the energy (of the crash) brilliantly, you can see the energy absorption - almost like a crash test,” they said on Fox Sports.
“That car surely isn’t coming back on the track this weekend.”
Teams will spend the next few days coming to grips with the Bathurst circuit once again, with the truncated 2021 season coming to a close at Mt Panorama.
It's the first time the famous race has been held as the season finale, with series veteran Jamie Whincup set to race for the final time before becoming the new team boss of Triple Eight racing, taking over from longtime boss Roland Dane.
A truly terrifying crash has red flagged and declared @Super2Series' second practice session.
We are thankful that Declan Fraser has walked away from this one #Bathurst1000 #RepcoSC #Super2 pic.twitter.com/A2i7GEGkEK
— Supercars (@supercars) December 1, 2021
— Michael Shaw (@elephino_) December 1, 2021
— Mat 🇦🇺❗️ (@Simmo99_) December 1, 2021
Whincup to bow out a Supercars legend
Even with the return of large crowds to Mount Panorama after last year's event was severely impacted by COVID-19, Whincup's farewell is the big-ticket item.
After being honoured by his Triple Eight team with an aeronautical display, the 38-year-old was presented with a custom bonnet that read #CheersJDub.
That was all in just the first two days after arriving in the regional NSW town.
"I normally like to keep it low key at the start of Bathurst week but I don't think I've got any chance this year," the Red Bull Ampol driver said.
"I've been blown away by how much effort the team have put into my last event, they're making it very special."
As Australia's most-decorated touring car driver, Whincup has nothing left to achieve.
But one last Bathurst 1000 crown - a fifth, and first since 2012 - would be nice.
"We've had a quick car and been in contention, but this is the hardest race to win and the easiest to lose," Whincup said.
"We've had some issues here over the years but we've also had some days when everything has gone right.
"I've been able to stand on the top step four times.
"I'm not a greedy person, once would've been enough for me, but to have four to my name is a fantastic feeling.
"I feel we've got as good opportunity as any to try to be there at the end of the six-and-a-half hours.
"I hope you see an aggressive win it or bin it Jamie from the last 10 years.
"I certainly don't want to be left in the middle of the pack."
The seven-time champion and winner of 124 races, Whincup will partner with fellow great Craig Lowndes for his final Bathurst 1000 as a full-time driver on Sunday.
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